Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients

May 11, 2016, Queen Mary, University of London
Salt reduction yields extra benefits for type 2 diabetes patients
Credit: Queen Mary, University of London

In these patients, a reduction in salt intake led to a significant fall in blood pressure and urinary albumin excretion, a marker of cardiovascular disease. The reduction in urinary albumin excretion may carry additional benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease above the effects on blood pressure.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is currently estimated to be 3.5 million, 90 per cent of which have type 2 diabetes. Raised is one of the most important risk factors in type 2 diabetes, with at least a twofold increased risk in developing compared to those who do not have type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

The study, published in Hypertension, looked at 46 individuals with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance and normal or mildly raised blood pressure. Patients were randomised either to take salt tablets (5g salt/day), or the equivalent number of placebo tablets (0g salt) for six weeks. At the end of the six week period the participants crossed over to take the opposite tablets for a further six weeks. Blood pressure was measured before entry to the study and at the end of each six week period.

Study co-author Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at QMUL and Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt & Health said: "This study clearly demonstrates that salt reduction is effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance. This is the first time that this has been so conclusively demonstrated and it is important now that all patients with type 2 diabetes or are given appropriate advice on how to reduce their salt intake.

"This study also has public health implications in that it is vital that we continue to reduce salt intake in the UK by getting the food industry to take out the huge and completely unnecessary amounts of salt that they put into our food."

Dr Rebecca Suckling, Consultant Nephrologist at St Helier Hospital and lead author of the research, said: "This study is the first and largest study of dietary salt intake in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance early on in their disease and has shown that lowering salt intake reduces blood pressure and the urinary albumin level, both important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure."

"Reducing blood pressure through lifestyle changes is recommended by all national and international guidelines but patients do not consistently receive any advice on lowering salt intake. This study highlights that all patients with type 2 and impaired should be given advice on lowering to levels at least less than 6g a day."

Explore further: Gene study could help heart patients cut craving for salt

More information: Rebecca J. Suckling et al. Modest Salt Reduction Lowers Blood Pressure and Albumin Excretion in Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension (2016). DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06637

Related Stories

Gene study could help heart patients cut craving for salt

March 29, 2016
Scientists have shed light on why some people crave salty food, even when they know it can seriously damage their health.

The downside of your sweet and salty addiction could be rapid-onset high blood pressure

April 6, 2016
Consumption of fructose, a fruit-derived sugar present in many sweetened beverages and processed foods, has been associated with epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and hypertension in the U.S. and around ...

Junk food causes similar high blood sugar levels as type 2 diabetes

May 10, 2016
A junk food diet can cause as much damage to the kidney as diabetes, according to a study published in Experimental Physiology.

America: Time to shake the salt habit?

March 28, 2013
The love affair between U.S. residents and salt is making us sick: high sodium intake increases blood pressure, and leads to higher rates of heart attack and strokes. Nonetheless, Americans continue to ingest far higher amounts ...

Many Americans trying to cut their salt intake: CDC

July 3, 2015
(HealthDay)—Worried about links between high daily salt intake, high blood pressure and stroke, half of American adults questioned in a recent poll say they've tried to cut back on sodium.

Recommended for you

Belly fat promotes diabetes under orders from liver

March 21, 2018
The fat that builds up deep in the abdomen—more than any other type of body fat—raises the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have known that abdominal fat becomes dangerous when it becomes inflamed ...

Consuming low-calorie sweeteners may predispose overweight individuals to diabetes

March 18, 2018
Consumption of low-calorie sweeteners could promote metabolic syndrome and predispose people to prediabetes and diabetes, particularly in individuals with obesity, a new study on human fat-derived stem cells and fat samples ...

Are high blood glucose levels an effect rather than the cause of diabetes?

March 15, 2018
Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels are considered to be the cause of type 2 diabetes. However, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have now provided ...

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

March 15, 2018
The prevalence of diabetes has increased almost 10-fold in China since the early 1980s, with one in 10 adults in China now affected by diabetes. Although adiposity is the major modifiable risk factor for diabetes, other research ...

Social support and machine learning are at the core of a student-developed app for people with diabetes

March 14, 2018
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and nearly 10 percent of the population suffers from this chronic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Toxic proteins and type 2 diabetes

March 9, 2018
Nearly a half-billion people worldwide live with type 2 diabetes. Yet despite the disease's sizeable and increasing impact, its precise causes remain murky. Current scientific thinking points to two key processes: insulin ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.